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Netflix and The Obamas Are Partnering on a Production Deal

Netflix continues its domination of American households by teaming with Barack and Michelle Obama.
U S President Barack Obama Holds A Bilateral Meeting With Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn In New York
By  · Published on May 22nd, 2018

Netflix continues its domination of American households by teaming with Barack and Michelle Obama.

There is no stopping Netflix. With nearly eight billion dollars to spend on 2018 acquisitions alone, they’ve put a stranglehold on adult animation, laughed at the derision coming from Steven Spielberg, and are contemplating beating theaters at their own game. Everyone wants to be in business with them: from Key and Peele to Guillermo del Toro. If you’re looking to stay relevant in the pop culture landscape going forward, you must find a home at Netflix.

Apparently, that includes the former President of the United States. Via their Twitter feed, Netflix boldly announced that they would be going into business with Barack and Michelle Obama. The couple has signed a multi-year production deal that will include scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features. Whatever the genre, they will dominate it.

Barack Obama has always embraced pop culture. He let his Trekkie flag fly high in 2012 when he posed with Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols. He happily dropped references to Mad Men in his State of the Union address. He sat down with Zach Galifianakis for his painfully bizarre Between Two Ferns talk show. He read mean tweets for Jimmy Kimmel. This POTUS knew how to gain favor by involving himself in our favorite entertainments.

During the last year of his presidency, Obama allowed documentarian Greg Barker into his White House to capture his last days in office. The Final Year was a painful inside look into an administration’s desperate attempt to leave a mark before the opposing side took over. Few government officials have ever been so open with their day-to-day lives. Obama went a long way in pulling the curtain back on the highest rank in our country.

Out of office, Obama continued to find ways to reach American citizens. He was the first victim of David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (which is also a Netflix exclusive). He told Dave that he was attempting to take things easy post-White House life, but that it takes some getting used to. He was very forthcoming regarding his concern on how his time in office will be perceived by future generations. Obama expressed worry about how social media has affected our lives, but it was also very clear that he understood what a tremendous instrument it could be when used effectively.

For the Obamas, the fight has only begun.

At this time, we do not know exactly what they have in store at Netflix. Maybe they’re just looking for a creative outlet. Maybe they’ll just produce comedies and dramas for their celebrity friends. But that’s doubtful.

In a statement issued by Michelle Obama, the First Lady explained how Netflix will aid them in inspiring empathy through storytelling:

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

Netflix is a helluva platform. As he stated to David Letterman, he’s fearful of another economic collapse, and climate change is a true passion. With this streaming service, he can continue his battle to reach the public. The American people are ready to click on whatever programs he and Michelle will into being. Between the two of them, they can stir the pot indefinitely, inciting conversation and change.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)